ShoWest: Toy Story 3
I wasn't able to make it to ShoWest this year so I'm missing out on all the shenanigans that El Guapo, Frosty and Ed Douglas are getting into out there but I didn't want the JoBlo.com readers to miss out. Luckily we were able to get friend of the site Bob Esponja to head out to Vegas to catch some of the big events. Here he checks in with last night's big screening TOY STORY 3:
As I was planning my trip to ShoWest, there was one event I looked forward to the most. Not Kick-Ass, though I'm excited to see that tonight. Not Prince of Persia, which I'm holding out hope for, even though it could suck beyond all belief. No, the film I was most looking forward to was Toy Story 3, the eleventh movie by Pixar. It was not only the world premiere of TS3, but, as director Lee Unkrich explained in his introduction, the only time an audience will ever be shown the work-in-progress version of the film, which included a temp score and some unfinished animation sprinkled throughout.
Mr. Oversized Hawaiian Shirt himself, John Lasseter, was the first to take the stage. I was about four rows back, and slightly in awe of the moment. I've been a huge Pixar fan since the day I saw Toy Story in '95 (I was twelve), and their success since then has been extraordinary to watch. I don't know of another studio whose name is so associated with excellence. When you walk into a Pixar movie, you know you're going to get your money's worth. Which is why ShoWest decided to honor John and his team with the special Big Ten Award, for having ten consecutive hit films in a row.
They are about to have their eleventh. Before I say anything about the film, I should mention that Lee Unkrich (who co-directed Toy Story 2, Monsters Inc, and Finding Nemo) did not ask audience members to refrain from tweeting or blogging about the film, but did kindly request that we not give away all the plot details. So I'll keep this brief.
Toy Story 3 picks up eleven years after the events of Toy Story 2. Andy has graduated high school and is getting ready to leave for college. His mom is still single (does she ever date?). The toys we have come to love over the years aren't played with anymore, and Andy has to make a decision about whether to bring them along to college or throw them out. You've seen the trailer, and know that through a turn of events, they end up at Sunnyside Day Care, where we are introduced to a new group of toys. And that is all I will say about the story.
What occurred to me while I was watching the film was not only the longevity of these characters, but how the boys from Emeryville, CA have somehow made us care about them. About toys. And this is a quite an emotional film, it being the last of the Toy Story films (or so I assume). From the very beginning, there is something slightly depressing about Andy being grown up, but that is quickly eclipsed by the exciting sequences that follow. There is plenty of suspense, and some surprisingly dark moments as well. I was excited to take my three year old to see the movie, but now I'm having second thoughts. She might be genuinely frightened by a handful of scenes.
If I have any complaints at all, it is that some ideas seem to have been recycled from the past two films. But that is not necessary a problem, as they work for this story. I'm looking forward to seeing the film in June, with finalized animation and Randy Newman's score, which was absent from the cut we saw. To bring this to a close, there is only one thing to say: Pixar has done it again. But have they ever given us a reason to doubt them?